The ancient technology of the LC’s stereo is one of the most disappointing aspects of this rig. The CD player doesn’t work. The antenna mast extends only 5 inches, so radio reception is very weak. The stereo does not have an AUX input. And bluetooth only works to connect your phone for handsfree dialing. Until this morning, I thought bringing the stereo into the 21st century would require replacing the whole stereo. But this morning, I saw a build thread on ih8mud that changes.

User @SerialHobbyist shared a write-up on adding bluetooth connectivity to his stereo for playing music. The write-up is here.

The revelation of this post was the bluetooth module. I could add this and a cassette converter to the rig and bring the stereo (almost) to the 21st century. The module has a received for a micro SD card, too, so I can populate that with a collection of MP3s for listening on shuffle or whatnot.

Amazon is happier for this discovery, as I ordered the components necessary to build this along with three 12v-to-USB-charger converters for various places in the rig.

The tasks on my list (not in any particular order):

  1. get the timing belt and transfer case looked at

  2. address some upholstery problems (holes and small rips) to stop them from becoming a bigger problem,

  3. looking for salvage yards that might have compatible rigs with some plastic parts I need to replace (e.g., lid to fusebox under the hood, cover for compartment on passenger side of the 3rd row seating, tie-down ‘wingnut’ piece that covers a screw in the cargo area)

  4. working up the courage (and saving the money) for stereo upgrade - CarPlay compatibility, AUX in, BT for music; not sure if I want GPS, but it would save battery life on phone

    Update: delayed to see if @SerialHobbyist’s approach to ‘upgrading’ the stereo works.

  5. adding a simple aux battery to the rig; running some outlets for USB chargers

  6. converting some interior lights to LEDs (Update: kit ordered from pfran)

  7. find some folks in my local area (Ventura County) who are interested in some day trips to trails in the Los Padres Wilderness or surrounding areas. I want to meet some people and strengthen some trail driving skills so I can overland camp with confidence with my rig

  8. tires are getting worn, so need to consider replacing them with something that balances smooth road ride, fuel efficiency, and effectiveness for overland camping (which isn’t the same as rock crawling)

  9. remove the airfoil and consider removing the roof rack

  10. remove the running boards and, perhaps, replace with sliders; without running boards and sliders, it sounds like people recommend mud flaps (here’s a link to the part numbers on ih8mud: OEM Front Mudflaps)

  11. fix antenna mast, perhaps replacing it with a manual mast (?)

  12. add bolts to engine cover (two are missing, two are present)

  13. have headlights aimed, perhaps replacing the bulbs (instructions for aiming are here)

  14. replace shocks (current shocks look original to truck) … what should I replace them with?

  15. mount mobile 2m/70cm radio in dash or up front; large antenna mounted on rear bumper (?)